About The River

Friday, January 17, 2014

On the Road Friday ~ Crex Meadows Wildlife Area ~ Grantsburg, Wisconsin

We are on the road to Crex Meadows Wildlife Area, located in Grantsburg, Wisconsin.
A fun place to visit anytime of the year.
The visitors center has a wonderful collection of hands on wildlife education for kids.
A fun display of ducks and other animals.
And a great gift shop.

When we are skiing, we often come across animal tracks. And we always say "I wonder what made that track?" While listening to our local radio station I heard about a mammal tracking class that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources was going to put on. Perfect!

Our instructors for the mammal tracking class were; Steve Hoffman and Robert Hanson, both were wonderful. Easy to ask questions to and full of knowledge about all our Wisconsin critters.

We learned a lot. And the boys did really well on the "fun test" after the class.
Here is a bit of what we learned.

When you find a track...
Count the number of toes.
Check for claw marks.
Canine tracks have definite claw marks
Feline tracks rarely show claw marks

Measure the length of the track
Determine the animals gait or track pattern.
Note the presence or absence of tail or belly dragging.
Look for scat or urination markings.

 Bob went out ahead of us and looked for tracks. He covered them so they would be undisturbed. 
Can you guess what animal made this track?

 A fisher! Wow, we were so excited!
But hold on, wait until you see what we found next.

 A wolf track!

 We also learned about Wisconsin's wolf population.
Here, Bob is demonstrating how they find a wolf who is wearing a radio collar.

 Thank you for coming along with me to Crex Meadows.

On the sand of dune and desert, on estuary and streamside mud: and indeed after every snowfall, all over the countryside a vast map...printed overnight, lies open every morning: tracks and traces of immense variety, often of wonderful clarity: an endless source of fascination for those who are up in time and have the eyes to see.
Tracks by E.A.R. Ennion and N. Tinbergen


  1. How neat! I always like looking for tracks in the snow. I think it's just so fun!

  2. I loved reading this post. So cool to see those tracks. Although we do not have wolves in our area, one of our neighbors saw a cougar track a few years ago. Janice

  3. That sounds like a marvellous activity for kids, my young grandson would love it! We visited a wolf refuge when I was visiting them year before last. I enjoyed it very much, as I'm sure you enjoyed this too. Good post!

  4. if I had seen wolves track I would run the opposite way. I think it's really cool how they track them.

  5. Fun! I like finding tracks, but other than deer, I don't know what they are. Next time I will try to note any of the other items you mentioned. Maybe I will be able to research it and learn what it was!


High Fives from Wisconsin!